Les Miserables Mass Market Paperback – Unabridged, March 3, 1987
"Regretting You" by Colleen Hoover
From New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters. | Learn more
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About the Author
Lee Fahnestock and Norman MacAfee have translated two volumes of the letters of Jean-Paul Sartre, edited by Simone de Beauvoir: Witness to My Life and Quiet Moments in a War. For their work together, they have received an NEA Translation fellowship and the American Literary Translators Association Award. Lee Fahnestock has translated fiction as well as four volumes of the poetry of Francis Ponge, including The Making of the Pré and The Nature of Things. The French Government honored her with the Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres. Norman MacAfee’s other books include One Class: Selected Poems; The Gospel According to RFK: Why It Matters Now; the opera The Death of the Forest; and translations of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s poetry.
- Item Weight : 1.45 pounds
- Mass Market Paperback : 1488 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0451525264
- ISBN-13 : 978-0451525260
- Product Dimensions : 4.34 x 2.23 x 6.91 inches
- Reading level : 18 and up
- Publisher : Signet Classics; Unabridged Edition (March 3, 1987)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,114,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Before I bought this book, I read all of the amazing reviews on this site. Ok, I thought, let's go. I read great reviews that spoke of Hugo in such glowing terms ... I was not prepared for the transformation that came my way. My life has been full of amazing experiences, both good and bad. I am optimistic about the life that is in front of me even at age 54. I have studied the scriptures all of my life. Perhaps that is why I was prepared to finally read this and absorb the wisdom of the master. Pick your favorite master - Michaelangelo, Van Gogh, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Shakespeare ... they would cherish Victor Hugo as the master of them all. After 5 pages I put down the book and wept, thanking God for allowing me the life of experience to appreciate the mastery of the artist. I read through the passage of the Bishop - the first 150 pages or so simply set you up for an astounding 20 pages of redemption delivered by the most humble of servants to humanity. The Bishop teaches us who are raised in a land of plenty how to show love and compassion to the least of God's creation. That is so trite as I write it. Read it for yourself and forgive me for my inadequacy to describe.
As I finished the story, I realized that I would never be the same. Redemption. What a fascinating thing! You can begin to live your life by simply pondering the reach of redemption. Valjean exemplifies the man who is touched by the most profound redemption. What happens in the first 150 pages sets the stage for the rest of the book. The first 1400 pages simply posture you for the final 150 pages. It is where you come to terms with your own fears, your own impoverished view of redemption. Valjean lives his very last days alone, misunderstood, despised by those who should love him the most. A miracle then occurs. I finshed the final pages on a Saturday afternoon in my home alone. I wept quietly for hours, thanking God for the slight insight to the magnificient mystery of real, bona fide redemption. On this earth, for this life, for what you have done or failed to do, and you know your life was important. I hid myself for 36 hours. For at least a month, I drove EVERY conversation to the topic of Victor Hugo and Jean Valjean. Why did Napoleon lose at Waterloo? By the way, that is very relevant to us today, it was because God decided Napoleon had done enough. Hugo is convincing. Note that Hugo's father was Napoleon's general. Why do we live on this planet and why were we born in the first place? Let me tell you ... the noble life of Jean Valjean is accessible to the most humble of us.
Don't read this if you are completely comfortable with your life to date. It might move you off the schneid.
I am halfway through the second out of five books in this volume. the plot thus far is as follows: Jean Valjean, a man who is by turns awful and luminous, is changed by a chance encounter which sets him on the road to rising greatness, until his greatness plunges him back into infamy. Meanwhile, a woman of common birth falls into ever greater hardship, inadvertently the fault of Jean Valjean, who at her deathbed promises to rear her only child, a daughter of seven years old. He encounters numerous fearsome obstacles in fulfilling this promise, but is now living with the girl in Paris.
This book was written during the chaotic period between the French Revolution and the Paris Commune. Victor Hugo looks unflinchingly at poverty, starvation, illness, aging, crime, government, wealth, drunkenness, child abuse, corruption, police brutality, and social upheaval. All of the minor characters are fully fleshed out and human. His villains are not cackling stereotypes from Disney movies. They are sickening in their realism: people who are blindly indifferent to evil, who moralize their actions, who are driven by prejudice to ruin lives, or have suffered to the point of deadness to empathy. His heroes and heroines are also characters of complex morality, doing or desiring to do evil and seeking to justify it to themselves. They are driven by fear and misery and are differentiated from the villains only by virtue of being sometimes compassionate and selfless. Despite this, there is little moral ambiguity. It is clear who you are meant to side with and Hugo never leaves you with any doubt as to why.
I can't wait to see what happens next!
If this book ends as good as it started, it will definitely be on my top ten ever.
The book is FAR better than the movie. The character development is superb. I really felt for Jean Valjean and, in the end, for Javert. Fantine was truly a tragic figure, Hugo provided an extensive back story for her that did not really show in the film. Such media has its limitations, granted.
The book was fantastic in bringing the situations to life. I felt like I was in that factory, in that cold outside of the inn, like I was being hunted down by Javert and ending up in that convent. The barricades of 1832, it felt like I was there with them, so outstanding is the narrative.
Yes, this is a novel to be savored. It really made me think and I am better for having read it.